TASMANIAN baker Bjarke Svendsgaard has claimed the 2023 LA Judge Award for Baking Apprentice of the Year.
The LA Judge Award started in 1967 to advance the skills of young bakers and identify future baking industry trailblazers.
From Olivers Latrobe Cafe Bakery in Latrobe, Mr Svendsgaard was announced as the winner at a gala event in Sydney last night, and triumphed after a hard-fought contest held over three days at the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre Sydney Pilot Bakery.
The award was presented by AEGIC and Woolworths.
Not far behind Mr Svendsgaard was Western Australia’s Jackson Kiely, a baker at Coles Haynes in suburban Perth.
LA Judge Award director Ken Quail said AEGIC was proud to foster innovation among young bakers and encourage them to push the baking industry forward.
“This event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young bakers to develop their talents and make important connections with industry leaders,” Dr Quail said.
“Winners and competitors often go on to achieve great things in the industry; being selected for this competition is a great accomplishment.
“All the talented candidates pushed themselves, gave their best and performed extremely well in what is a fun, but pretty tough contest.”
Dr Quail said all the entrants did themselves, their trainers and their bakeries proud.
“A big congratulations to Bjarke, who performed consistently well across the competition.
“Bjarke’s skills in baking, theory, and presentation were all exceptional.”
Courtesy of baking and ingredients company Puratos, Mr Svendsgaard will travel to Belgium for a week of training in bread and patisserie baking, and explore the Belcolade Chocolate Centre, the Centre for Bread Flavour, the Sourdough Library and Maison Du Levain.
As runner-up, Mr Kiely will receive $1500 cash, plus two days’ training with Puratos in Sydney.
The two other finalists, Daniel Blackburn from Creative Crusts at Belmont in suburban Brisbane, and Damien Witting from Salus Bakery at Wangaratta in Victoria, will also benefit from Puratos’ training.
Dr Quail said the LA Judge Award relies on the backing of industry sponsors.
“Once again, the Australian baking and allied industries came together to make the LA Judge Award possible.”
The LA Judge Award is a not-for-profit event organised and hosted by AEGIC as a way of supporting the Australian baking industry and the young bakers who are its future.
It is open to young apprentice bakers eager to carve a path in the Australian baking industry.
The competition spans three days and covers all aspects of baking, including practical baking skills, technical knowledge, and presentation abilities.
HAVE YOUR SAY